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[liberationtech] The worrisome trend toward liability in networking technology

Josh jdsaxe at gmail.com
Tue Nov 8 08:05:52 PST 2011


The statement is certainly heartening.  But from a movement perspective I
think the problem is to have some way of knowing whether or not they are
following through.

How do we do that?  Maybe some of you already have a sophisticated way of
thinking about this.  This reminds me of anti-sweatshop activism, where one
problem is to know whether or not Gap's (or whomever's) subcontractors are
actually following through on their working conditions promises.  Not that
that's easy, but somehow keeping the network policies of governments and
backbone Internet providers in public view seems very hard.

I am new to this kind of activism so much of what I've posted to this list
may be coming off as naive.  But my sense is that a movement for justice
around the issues we're discussing (monitoring and filtering) would involve
the convergence of at least three strategies: 1) shaming/pressuring
companies directly responsible for enabling governments to monitor and
filter 2) advocating for laws that guarantee citizens freedom and privacy
and 3) educating citizens on how to circumvent monitoring and filtering (I
really liked the EFF materials Jillian posted on this).  It seems like all
three strategies hinge on educating the public about how monitoring and
filtering work and why they're relevant to issues of basic freedom -
governments and tech companies understand these issues right now but the
public really doesn't.

Josh

On Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 10:45 AM, Jillian York
<jyork at cyber.law.harvard.edu>wrote:

> I'm thrilled with Websense's statement.  Mind you, Websense has always
> behaved fairly well...when, in 2009, they found out Yemen was using their
> tools, they publicly stated then that they were pulling further updates.
> Perhaps it's all for show, but I believe Websense will follow through.
>
> I also think that companies like Websense have a real opportunity to start
> marketing to parents in some of the countries where filtering debates are
> taking place (e.g., Tunisia, Turkey)...one that they ought to seize.  If
> parents realize they have that (affordable) option, perhaps they'll stop
> supporting government initiatives...
>
>
> On Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 4:00 AM, Katrin Verclas <katrin at mobileactive.org>wrote:
>
>> What then is your all's take on company efforts such as this:
>>
>>
>> http://community.websense.com/blogs/websense-insights/archive/2011/11/01/websense-statement-on-improper-use-of-technology-for-suppression-of-rights-and-in-violation-of-trade-sanctions.aspx
>>
>> or on Nokia Siemens Network's human rights policy and internal due
>> diligence?
>> Are companies starting to self-regulate with any effect, or are these
>> simply PR moves? I have my opinions but wonder what y'all think...
>>
>> Katrin
>>
>> Sent via mobile. Hence, short.
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Jillian York <jyork at cyber.law.harvard.edu>
>> Sender: liberationtech-bounces at lists.stanford.edu
>> Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2011 15:03:06
>> To: Josh<jdsaxe at gmail.com>
>> Cc: Liberation Technologies<liberationtech at mailman.stanford.edu>
>> Subject: Re: [liberationtech] The worrisome trend toward liability in
>>  networking technology
>>
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>
>
>
> --
> jilliancyork.com | @jilliancyork | tel: +1-857-891-4244
>
>
>
>
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